Your 100-day sprint begins today.
That’s the roughly hundred or so days between now—when your key client decision-makers are finally back to work—until they disappear again over the holidays.
100 days to attack the projects they let go dark over the summer doldrums.
100 days to recapture momentum and end their year on a high note.
(Sidebar: While I wish I could take credit for naming this annual phenomenon, that would go to Blair Enns—you can read his classic “Magic Email” piece here.)
And it’s not just your clients.
We who serve them are deep into it too—something about summer ending and the kids back to school is all about hitting the REFRESH button.
We’re feeling the pressure to find new clients, update the website, record a podcast series, all before the holidays pull us away.
My podcast partner-in-crime Jonathan Stark and I decided to devote an entire episode to this topic—so if you’ve got 40 minutes to dig in, give it a listen here.
Otherwise, here are two ideas to get you out of the starting blocks at lightening speed today.
Revisit EVERY stalled client project or new business conversation this year (not just from the summer).
The easiest way to do this is to go back through your emails (I keep a folder of “Future Clients” as an easy way to keep conversations in motion) and identify every stalled project or conversation you’d like to revive.
Your job is to send an email to each of these folks THIS WEEK and, better still, today.
But you’ve got to keep your intentions clear—you’re not trying to sell them on closing the deal (although that very well may happen) or even just attempting to politely stay in touch.
You’re simply closing the loop. To give them permission to NOT hire you, to not start the project, to not pass go and give you $200.
To do that, you have to wipe any emotional attachment to the outcome and just focus on what Blair calls the “magic email”.
I’ve used a version of this and it works. To give it a try, you’ll find the template here.
Yes, that reads like consulting 101, but it’s far too easy when we’re busy to rely on email when an actual conversation could spark some magic.
Try this: every time someone truly intriguing crosses your path—reach out and initiate. It doesn’t have to be a potential client—just someone you genuinely would like to know.
That’s how I met Jonathan—he kept re-tweeting a blog post of mine and I figured why not invite him to a quick chat? We connected during last year’s 100-day sprint and the next thing I knew we were podcast co-hosts, now with 45 episodes under our belt.
The trick is to get in the habit of doing it, so that you don’t even have to think about it.
Sure, it’s serendipity that can’t be forced into a schedule, but you can train yourself to act when your curiosity is pinged.
Plus, if you work largely solo, it’s a great way to stay connected to the world beyond your client work.
What have you got to lose?
Put your feet in those starting blocks TODAY and take off fast…
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